WotR - Spirits of Dol Guldur, 1000 points

Spirits of Dol Guldur Scouts, 1000 points

War of the Ring Army - Dol Guldur

 

This is a more typical Dol Guldur army for me than the Dol Guldur Scouts ( WotR - Dol Guldur Scouts, 750 points ) force.  Our local group has generally settled on a range between 1500 - 2000 for many of our WotR armies, but we do still play some at the lower values and this 1000 point army was typical of my more successful Dol Guldur efforts.

 

This force relies more heavily on Magic to support and enhance its core troops and utilizes Spirits more than many typical Mordor-based armies.  It is lead by Khamul the Easterling who took charge of the Hill of Sorcery after the Necromancer's true nature was discovered and Sauron returned to Mordor to begin rebuilding there.  As such he is very well themed to lead the force, though the special rule GW gave him in WotR makes him one of the more overpowered / under-priced models on the side of Evil and I always feel a bit cheezy playing him for that reason.  Still, he is the most themed of all Nazgul and very effective in the game and I'm not going to cripple myself because of my reservations.  I may on occasion swap him out for another of the Nine, but usually he will be the leader.

 

He is supported by the Mouth of Sauron.  The Mouth is not played very often from what I've seen because for just 25 points more you can get a Nazgul that comes with one higher Mastery, Epic Strike (generally a defensive value) and a very useful special rule.  And if I was playing this list in a tournament I would probably drop the Mouth and tweak the list a little to do just that.  But for local games I'm happier having him in.  It doesn't feel as bad bringing him to a friendly game as a second Nazgul would, and I like the idea that the Mouth is moving between Dol Guldur and Barad-dur bringing the word of Sauron.

 

These two spell casters together are able to put down a number of Courage-sapping spells which are primarily used to weaken an enemy Formation to be decimated by the Spirits.  Perhaps the most potent of these is a Company of Castellans of Dol Guldur.  This Legendary Formation is Indomitable, has a high Defense and Resilience 2 which all combine to keep it in the game for a long time.  It has no Hero (and has the We Stand Alone special rule) so it cannot be dueled meaning it must be taken on directly.  The only drawback to this Legendary Formation is that it cannot At The Double which means it can often be left behind in the game.  It requires careful play of the army to keep it a viable member of the force.

 

The second Spirit force in this army is a 3-Company strong Formation of Ghostly Legions lead by a Captain.  The Captain allows them to At The Double and Heroic Fight though it does expose them to the risk of a Duel.  If you can avoid that pitfall though, they can do great damage to an enemy Formation.  One or both of the spell casters can drop a Formation's Courage by a couple points and the Ghosts can Spirit Walk thru them, swing around and charge them from the rear.  This reduces their ability to strike back effectively (in fact they may just fail their Courage test and be in even worse shape) and the Captain can call an Heroic Fight so they have a great chance to overcome their foe completely.

 

On the conventional side, five Companies of Morannon Orc lead by a Captain provide the core Formation for the army and are usually where Khamul or the Mouth of Sauron are found.  The Captain allows them to ATD even if there are no Epic Heroes present and can use his Might for Heroic actions without the Epic needing to waste their limited Might on it.

 

Two Companies of Mordor Uruk Hai with 2-Handed weapons gives a good chopping power while 2 Companies of Orcs with bows can set up on the flanks for harassment.  Yeah, Orc bows are pretty limited but I don't like to have no ranged weapons and even weak Orc archers can get a couple kills per turn if played right, and that can mean a lot in War of the Ring.  Finally there are 6 Companies of Orcs with Shields.  These can be deployed as two smaller Formations or a single large one, perhaps with Khamul present to help reduce casualties (while the Mouth is in the safer Morannon Formation).  There are points enough for a Drummer to be squeezed into one Formation as well and I find that if I deploy the Orcs as a single large Formation the drummer works well to offset the lack of an ATD Hero a bit.  But overall it doesn't make too large of a difference if it goes among the Orcs or Morannon.  I just wish I could give it to the Castellans!

 

The biggest challenge with the army is getting spread out.  With an Epic in each of the two large Formations and a Captain in the Ghosts it is very easy for those three to push forward early and leave the supporting Formations, including the Castellans, far behind.  This is a big mistake and makes things very difficult later in the game.  Instead they are best served keeping together until you engage.  You want to be sure your normal-speed Formations are able to get into the mix on the next turn if at all possible.

 

A variation of this army drops the Castellans, one Company of Orcs with shields and both Companies of Orcs with bows and adds in a Troll Chief.  The Troll Chief is a brute and really forces your opponent to focus efforts to bring it down (unless of course they have Legolas).  While it's alive it can ATD and call Heroic Combat itself, can deal a good amount of damage before a foe can strike back, out Duel almost anything other than an Epic Strike Hero and is a great supporting unit to almost any other Formation.   If it charges against a foe that has had its Courage weakened by magic then it is even more deadly.  Like any Monster it has a random element that makes tactics more challenging as it could last through most of the game or can get killed off in just a single combat.

 

Formation

Points

Khamul 125
Mouth of Sauron 100
1x Castellans of Dol Guldur 135
5x Morannon Orc w/ shield and Captain 175
2x Mordor Uruk Hai w/ 2H weapon 60
6x Mordor Orcs w/ shield 120
2x Mordor Orcs w/ bow 40
3x Ghostly Legion w/ Captain 230
Total 985*

* 15 extra points to add a Drummer to one Formation